Cynthia Egbert's Reviews > Snuff

Snuff by Terry Pratchett
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Aug 05, 2016

it was amazing
bookshelves: own-and-read
Read in January, 2012

SAM VIMES! What can I say? Sam and Lady Sybil are the ideal couple (not perfect, but ideal) and together they change the world. Another five star rating from me for a Pratchett book. It is a Sam Vimes mystery novel, so it is pretty much a given that I am going to love it. But, as is always the case with Mr. Pratchett, it is much more than simply a DiscWorld mystery. It makes lovely and powerful statements about our prejudices and social issues. As always, Pratchett is the consumate satirist. I will not give much away except to say that this is not Sam Vimes in Ankh-Morpork. Nope, Lady Sybil finally dragged in on holiday to the country. (With Lord Veterinari's help, which must mean that something is afoot.) And we learn that murder, mayhem and corruption can happen anywhere! Here are some favorite quotes from the novel:

"I think things got a bit tangled: you see, you thought about things as being legal or illegal. Well, I'm just a soldier and never was a very good one, but it's my opinion you were so worried about legal and illegal that you never stopped to think about whether it was right or wrong. And now, if you will excuse me, I'm going down to the pub." (This is not Sam Vimes, he is still on the wagon!)

"Sometimes you had to take a look at yourself and then look away."

"If you want to change a whole people, then you start with the girls. It stands to reason: they learn faster, and they pass what they learn to their children."

Please read the book!!

"There were times when the world did not need policemen, because what it really did need was for somebody who knew what they were doing to shut it all down and start it all up again so that this time it could be done properly..."

"And he thought, I've just told a goblin not to be frightened of my son because he loves her and the world has turned upside down and all sins are forgiven, except possibly mine."

"You're a stickler for the book, Sam, and I admire that, but the jurisdiction of a good man extends to the end of the world."

"Do you know what that little speech you made was called, Mr. Feeney?" "Don't know, sir, it's just what I think." "It was called redemption, Mr. Feeney. Hold on to it."

"Well, far be it from me to whiten a man's name against his will!"

"Well, I'll tell you why. It's because I'm too damn scared to tell Feeney that I'm too damn scared. Hah, the story of my life, too much of a damn coward to be a coward!"

"There is no race so wretched that there is not something out there that cares for them, Mr. Vimes."

"And there he had found enlightenment growing, and understood that fear and rage could be hammered into a sword, and the desire to once again read a book to a child could be forged into a shield and armor for a ragged and dying castaway, who thereafter shook hands with kings."

"However, a crowbar is the universal pass key."

"It was just his own human darkness and internal enemy, which knew his every thought, which knew that every time Commander Vimes dragged some vicious and inventive murderer to such mercy or justice as the law in its erratic wisdom determined, there was another Vimes, a ghost Vimes, whose urge to chop that creature into pieces on the spot had to be chained. This, regrettably, was harder every time, and he wondered if one day that darkness would break out and claim its heritage, and he wouldn't know...the brakes and chains and locks in his head would have vanished and he wouldn't know.

Right now, as he looked at the frightened child, he feared that moment was coming closer. Possibly only the presence of the young officer was holding the darkness at bay, the dreadful urge to do the hangman our of his entitlement of a dollar for the drop, thruppence for the rope and sixpence for his beer. How easy it is to kill, yes, but not when a smart young copper who thinks you are a good guy is looking at you. At home, the Watch and his family surrounded Vimes like a wall. Here the good guy was the good guy because he didn't want anyone to see him being bad. He did not want to be ashamed. He did not want to be the darkness."

"No, constable, you did not do what I would have done, which is fortunate, because if you had, then you would be in front of me on a charge for using brutally excessive force in the execution of your duties."

"The steward came bearing that which is guaranteed to frighten away all nightmares, to wit, a cup of hot tea. The sound of the gentle rattle of china cup on china saucer drives away all demons, a little-known fact."

"Young Sam wandered over to the goblin girl and took hold of her hand, which was something he tended to do to any female that he met for the first time, a habit which his father considered would quite possibly open doors for him in later life. The girl tried gently to pull her hand away, but Young Sam was a ferocious holder."

"It had been said by someone years before that to see Lady Sybil Ramkin's upholstered bosom rise and fall was to understand the history of empires."

"They say that the eyes of some paintings can follow you around the room, a fact that I doubt, but I am wondering whether some music can follow you forever."

"But most of all, later that year, Vimes was totally amazed to find that the bestselling novel taking the Ankh-Morpork literary world by storm was dedicated to Commander Samuel Vimes. The title of the book was Pride and Extreme Prejudice."


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08/05 marked as: read

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